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  • Writer's pictureDr. Francis Battisti & Dr. Helen Battisti

The Zone - Volume 86

As we prepared to write this week’s The Zone, we were struck by the number and severity of events that we are all currently experiencing. From the holidays and all the emotions that accompany them, to the ongoing challenges to our health, to the economy, to environmental changes and the list goes on. A possible result of thinking about these events can be to become overwhelmed and stuck with old thinking patterns. Alternately with focus, patience, and pursuit of reputable knowledge, we can better navigate the myriad of issues.

If you have ever watched an Olympian skater, skating across the ice, leaping and twirling in the air, it may appear that the skater can complete this routine effortlessly. However, upon further exploration, one can find that this routine took hours of training, encouragement, mistakes, coaching, pain and exhaustion, as well as mental training and challenges. In addition to all of this, to be able to successfully complete an arial routine and land with complete balance on one thin blade also requires horizontal speed of the takeoff, vertical speed of the takeoff, angular momentum of the skater and gravity. To the observer, this may seem chaotic, but the skater is able to bring it all together and focus on the task at hand and keep all the variables in balance. As with the skater, maintaining our focus on where we want to go, helps us to keep the balance in the midst of chaos.

As the upcoming New Year approaches, it is an ideal time to recalibrate. “Where you have been?”, “Where you are right now?” and “Where you want to be throughout 2022?” Rather than setting a New Year Resolution on January 1, 2022, that is usually forgotten within a day or two, now is the time to assess and prioritize where you want to place your efforts to the various changes that are occurring. The advance work over the next month will allow you sufficient time to reflect more deliberately on what your priorities are and the focus that you will need to have to meet your expectations.

One of the lessons learned for us, over the past two years, is that interventions that worked and made sense for the situation, at the time, now may need to be changed. The lesson learned is that the intervention was not wrong, at the time used, only those new circumstances require something different. One of our colleagues put it this way, “Over the past two years we developed a new “play book” and now it’s time to change the “play book” again.” Thinking that we now have the answer is rigid thinking that will only serve to frustrate us in the long term.

Finally, just when you may believe that you have lost your focus, step back, reflect and then move forward, for it is still there.


Key Takeaways

  • Times are currently very chaotic.

  • The variables that create our chaos can help us achieve complete balance.

  • Asking ourselves specific questions and exploring our answers can help us keep moving towards our goals.

Best Practices

  • Identify clear goals and methods of assessing progress.

  • Allow for feedback from self and trusted others.

  • Start your reflection and priority assessment now.

Things to Limit

  • Thinking chaos is uncontrollable.

  • Awfulizing the present situation.

  • Being the “Victim”.


Quote of the Week

“The thing about chaos, is that while it disturbs us, it too, forces our hearts to roar in a way we secretly find magnificent.”

~Christopher Poindexter


Once again, creative flexible thinking allows us to look forward from an adaptive point of view. Quick, “Headline” problem-solving has the tendency to place us in a restrictive negative mindset that closes all sorts of creative solutions from emerging. Engaging our creative flow, along with engagement with others from a relationship-building approach, allows for strengths to be identified and put into practice

Be well,

The paraDocs

Check our Welcome Greeting on YouTube

The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.

We have developed "The ZONE", because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.

If you would like to get copies of The ZONE that you may have missed or if you know someone that would like to start receiving The ZONE, please signup today... It's free and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Permission is given to share with others.

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